Saturday, April 4, 2009

Change in U.S. stance on Cuba coming soon

The new administration in Washington plans imminent changes in the relationship between the United States and Cuba, raising hope that one of the worst yet most enduring blunders in U.S. policy could be ending. According to a report Saturday in the New York Times, the lifting of some restrictions on travel and sending money from family-to-family in Cuba is imminent. The United States imposed those limits as part of a 1960s-era trade embargo imposed after Fidel Castro, a communist, seized control of the island nation off the coast of Florida. Relations between Cuba and the United States have stayed tense since then, including, of course, during the Cuban Missile Crisis when John Kennedy was president, but Castro's retirement last year raised hopes of some kind of reconciliation. Announcement of the changes is expected before U.S. President Barack Obama attends a Latin summit in Trinidad and Tobago on April 17, the Times said. The changes are not expected to include a lifting of the entire embargo, just an easing of its terms, the newspaper reported. Lifting of the entire embargo would require an act of Congress. Obama discussed relaxing the embargo during his successful 2008 campaign.

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